Some of this week's boxes will see the first persimmons of the season! Persimmons, however, can be a bit of a tricky fruit. There are two primary varieties that you will come across - fuyu persimmons and hachiya persimmons. The two different varieties differ greatly in how they are eaten and prepared. So to get the most of your persimmons this season, read on as we explain this delicious fruit.
Hachiya vs. Fuyu: Astringency
The two varieties of persimmons differ greatly in their astringency. Astringency is the dry, puckering mouthfeel that the tannin of some fruit creates if eaten before completely ripe. So for persimmons, the hachiya variety is the astringent of the two. Thus, hachiya persimmons should not be eaten before they are totally softened - you know when to eat a hachiya when it feels like a water balloon or an over-ripe tomato.
Fuyu persimmons are far less astringent than their hachiya counterpart. This means that fuyu persimmons can be enjoyed while still firm as well as when they soften.
Hachiya vs. Fuyu: shape
Both hachiya and fuyu persimmons can range from a light yellow-orange to a deeper, dark reddish orange. In shape, however, the two varieties have distinct differences. Hachiya persimmons are typically an elongated shape, simlar to an acorn or a very plum roma tomato.
The fuyu variety is round and squat, similar in shape to a beefsteak tomato.
HACHIYA VS. FUYU: Preparation
Lastly, due to how these varieties differ in their astringency, the way they are prepared and eaten is also quite different.
Fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, can be eaten when firm and will be crisp and sweet. Fuyus can be enjoyed raw on their own or sliced and added to salads, sliced and roasted for a sweet and savory side dish or blended into smoothies.
For hachiya persimmons, again, make sure to wait until they are incredibly soft before you eat them (remember - you want the fruit to feel like a water balloon). Many folks, after waiting until their hachiyas are very, very ripe, dig in to the fruit's creamy interior simply with a spoon and eat it plain or mix it in to yogurt or oatmeal for some added sweetness. Due to a perfectly ripe hachiya persimmon's texture, these fruits are also good for making baked goods like muffins, cookies and breads.
No matter which variety you try, persimmons are sure to provide a sweet and delicious treat this fall. If you're new to preparing persimmons, we've listed some recipes below to help you get started!